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Friday, August 5, 2016

Don't Think Twice Director Mike Birbiglia Second-Guesses Suicide Squad and Donald Trump

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Counter Clockwise: Keegan-Michael Key (Jack), Gillian Jacobs (Samantha), Chris Gethard (Bill), Kate Micucci (Allison), Mike Birbiglia (Miles) and Tami Sagher (Lindsay) in Mike Birbiglia’s Don't Think Twice, opening in San Francisco on August 5. - COURTESY OF JON PACK
  • Courtesy of Jon Pack
  • Counter Clockwise: Keegan-Michael Key (Jack), Gillian Jacobs (Samantha), Chris Gethard (Bill), Kate Micucci (Allison), Mike Birbiglia (Miles) and Tami Sagher (Lindsay) in Mike Birbiglia’s Don't Think Twice, opening in San Francisco on August 5.

Director and comedian Mike Birbiglia is fucking pissed at Hollywood.

His Sleepwalk With Me follow-up, Don't Think Twice, about a group of six improv performers struggling to make it in New York City, happens to come out the same weekend as Suicide Squad, which is about a half-dozen criminals working to save the world.  If the latter, with its bigger budget, stars, and promotional push, doesn't already have an unfair advantage over the second-time director's sleeper film, the violent action flick got another leg up with a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. On the other hand, the relatively tame Don't Think Twice, was rated R, further limiting its box office.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Norman Lear Brings 'All Lives Matter' message to SF Jewish Film Festival

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 10:00 AM

TV legend Norman Lear will be honored at the SF Jewish Film Fest's screening of Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You at the Castro Theatre on July 24th. - MUSIC BOX FILMS
  • Music Box Films
  • TV legend Norman Lear will be honored at the SF Jewish Film Fest's screening of Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You at the Castro Theatre on July 24th.

When Norman Lear wrote contentious episodes of All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, Good Times and The Jeffersons that dealt with war, procreative liberty, poverty, racism and feminism, he expected flack from the networks. What Lear never anticipated, he told SF Weekly, was the pushback he received from the Good Times cast and even the Black Panther Party — the very people he was trying to give voice to.

While Lear isn't black, he was still confident that he could do justice to issues of economic hardship, religious identity and teen sex faced by African Americans, because these were matters faced by all Americans. To the producer, we're all versions of each other.

Lear is now the subject of a new documentary, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
which premieres at the Castro Theatre as part of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, on Saturday. The producer, who will be in attendance, will be honored with the Freedom of Expression award.

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Friday, July 15, 2016

Silicon Valley's Matt Ross finds balance in Captain Fantastic, Hollywood and Life

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, opens in San Francisco on July 15. - CATHY KANAVY
  • Cathy Kanavy
  • Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen, opens in San Francisco on July 15.

In Captain Fantastic, Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) has a crisis of confidence about his parenting style.  The offbeat patriarch, once so gung-ho about raising his brood off the grid, far from the consumerism and technology that he was force-fed, begins to rethink his extreme child rearing. 

The film's writer-director Matt Ross (28 Hotel Rooms), also known for playing Gavin Belson on HBO's Silicon Valley, experienced something similar when, after being reared by a single mom on several NorCal communes, chose to raise his two kids in a more comfortable two-parent household, in Berkeley. The real trick for the Berkeleyite was in finding a balance or maintaining his core values within his new lifestyle. 

SF Weekly spoke to Matt Ross about getting the balance right as a Hollywood actor-director, parent and iPhone addict.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Do You Want to Ride Around San Francisco in Ecto-1 Today or Tomorrow?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 12:00 PM

img_3960.jpg
OK, normally, SF Weekly has a severe allergic reaction to anything that even suggests shilling for corporations — but nobody likes a joyless scold, so while we're not going to tell you to use any ride-sharing services this weekend, we will say that you should keep an eye out for a replica of the Ghostbusters' Ecto-1, which will be shuttling Lyft riders around town in anticipation of the reboot, which hits theaters July 14.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

HBO's Looking: The Movie: The Cast Lost its Heart in San Francisco

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 1:00 PM


Just two and a half years after appearing at HBO's Looking premiere at S.F.'s Castro Theatre, the cast of the cancelled show reunited at the legendary movie palace for one last hurrah. - ACT OUT PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM NORRENA
  • ACT OUT Photography by Jim Norrena
  • Just two and a half years after appearing at HBO's Looking premiere at S.F.'s Castro Theatre, the cast of the cancelled show reunited at the legendary movie palace for one last hurrah.

On Sunday, June 26, Framline40, the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay film festival, wrapped with a blue carpet premiere for HBO's Looking: The Movie at The Castro Theatre.  SF Weekly caught up with the cast ahead of the film finale, which closes out the two-season series about three best friends (Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, and Murray Bartlett) living the gay dream in San Francisco, to discuss their emotional exit from the show — and the city.   

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Madonna's Ex-Dancers Dare to be Truthful in Strike a Pose

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM

[Left to right] Former Madonna dancers and stars of Strike a Pose: Oliver Crumes III,  Salim Gauwloos, Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, and Luis Camacho once tap danced around certain truths. - ACT OUT PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM NORRENA
  • ACT OUT Photography by Jim Norrena
  • [Left to right] Former Madonna dancers and stars of Strike a Pose: Oliver Crumes III, Salim Gauwloos, Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, and Luis Camacho once tap danced around certain truths.
Madonna's feature-length rockumentary Truth or Dare spotlighted many of the Queen of Pop's sexy song-and-dance numbers from her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. But it was what director Alek Keshishian captured offstage that truly curled mainstream America's toes and almost garnered the film an X rating. For the seven male dancers — six gay and one straight — that made up Madonna's dance troupe, however, certain truths were still too shocking to reveal.  It took 25 years, but today they're ready to tell all in a new documentary about the truths behind Truth or Dare, entitled Strike a Pose.  

SF Weekly
 caught up with the band of "brothers," Luis Camacho, Salim Gauwloos, Kevin Stea, Carlton Wilborn, and Oliver Crumes III, between a Macy's in-store appearance and their film's Frameline premiere on June 25, about the secrets that they didn't dare expose. 

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Jose Canseco Goes from Outfielder to Outsider in The Truth Hurts

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Baseball Superstar Jose Canseco - BO PARKER
  • Bo Parker
  • Baseball Superstar Jose Canseco
Jose Canseco remembers Oct. 17, 1989, vividly. The Oakland A's powerhouse was running sprints at Candlestick Park, just 30 minutes before Game 3 in the World Series against the San Francisco Giants.  

"I suffered from migraines, so I remember running toward the outfield and suddenly feeling a little bit nauseous," he told SF Weekly.  I was thinking, "Oh my gosh, this can't be happening now — getting a migraine before one of the games in the World Series."  I turned around and looked up and could see the lights waving back and forth like 15 to 20 feet either way. I thought, "What kind of a migraine is this where I'm hallucinating?" Then you hear a huge earthquake hit, so it made sense that the ground was moving under me, and that's why I was feeling out of balance, and the lights were shaking in the aftermath."

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone "Poke" Fun at Celebrity Excess in Popstar

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2016 at 3:01 PM


(L-R) The Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. - COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL PICTURES
  • Courtesy of Universal Pictures
  • (L-R) The Lonely Island's Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.

The Lonely Island first won loads of notice for its 2006 Emmy-winning SNL short "Dick in a Box," featuring Justin Timberlake. A decade later, the comedy trio, composed of Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone, comes full circumference with its brazen "Dick in a Limo" scene in Judd Apatow's hilarious new movie, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. The rip-roaring mockumentary, written by and costarring The Lonely Island, pokes fun at true celebrity excess via a fictional singer-rapper known as Conner4Real (well played by Andy Samberg) as he launches his self-indulgent world tour.  SF Weekly spoke to Samberg, Schaffer, and Taccone about Popstar, opening wide June 3, maintaining their Berkeley roots, and the mechanics behind the scene that'll be emblazoned on your mind for years to come.   

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Actress Emilia Clarke and author Jojo Moyes Depict a Richer View of Quadriplegia in Me Before You

Posted By on Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) and Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) prove that love is the most vital feeling in Me Before You. - ALEX BAILEY
  • Alex Bailey
  • Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) and Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) prove that love is the most vital feeling in Me Before You.

While some are already blasting Me Before You for presenting disabled people as pitiful, the author and the star of the critically-acclaimed-novel-turned-film, Jojo Moyes and Emilia Clarke, respectively, told SF Weekly that they were confident that they had conducted enough research between them to support a more well-rounded character in the form of wealthy quadriplegic Will Traynor (The Hunger Games' Sam Claflin), who falls in love with his more humble caregiver, Louisa Clark (Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke) in the tender romantic dramedy. Me Before You opens in San Francisco on June 3.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Within Our Gates: Classic Silent Film Comes to the Castro with a New Score

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Scene from "Within Our Gates" - COURTESY OF SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL
  • Courtesy of San Francisco Silent Film Festival
  • Scene from "Within Our Gates"
Oakland Symphony conductor Michael Morgan has done many of Adolphus Hailstork’s pieces, and he calls him the most accomplished African American composer alive today.

“The most impressive thing about them is how well written they always are,” Morgan said. “There’s nobody better at combining classical training and elements of black music into a specific voice.”

Morgan will conduct Oakland Symphony musicians and members of the Oakland Symphony Chorus in the new score Hailstork composed for strings and voice for the 1920 film, Within Our Gates, which screens as part of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The film, the earliest surviving one made by an African-American director, Oscar Micheaux, deals with racial violence and stereotypes in the story of an African-American woman going north to raise money for a rural school in the South.

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    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"